Relationship Difficulties - Multi-blogs available here
What would you find helpful or interesting for me to write about in this short blog? Feel free to email me to suggest some topics
Sex dolls available for hire in Brothels – so what is all the fuss about?
Firstly, the ‘human’ dolls in Brothels will not be too chuffed to be usurped by perfect plastic receptacles, if for no other reason than the reduction in their financial income, but also because of how easily they can be replaced as a man’s ‘object of desire’. This brings a whole new meaning to ‘solo’ sex. Men that enjoy these toys will be damned – but what are the objections to this seemingly harmless activity?
Objectification of women……well, I have never heard anyone complain about female use of vibrators being classed as, ‘objectifying men’ – so what is different here? As far as I know, women don’t frequent hostelry’s that provide a hunk ready to bunk, but what if they did? Would the public reaction be the same? Both men and women like quickies and being able to reach pleasurable heights (without having to participate and respond to a live human), frankly has it’s attractions, e.g. you just do what pleases you, you don’t have to wonder if your ministrations to another human are working, are good, or are on fire, you don’t have to try and put that very hurtful comment that your partner made – out of your head, as you continue to seethe, in order to achieve that physical release and you don’t have to think about her nagging you to take the bin out.
The common factor here is fantasy, men are supposed to be stimulated more by visuals than women – but both sexes can use fantasy to arouse their sexual drive and if plastic dolls help them to do that more easily – why is that so bad? A man can project all his fantasies onto the doll, as could a woman, if a male version were available and then after the fat lady sings, it’s all over…….hardly an example of debauchery. The fact that these behaviours do nothing to help either sex to have a live relationship is neither here nor there – that is an individual choice.
More concerning is that, people warn that this could lead to more sex crimes, notably the manufacture of child dolls, that would encourage paedophilia – too late I’m afraid as they are already making child robots in Japan. I guess the question is, will ease of access to a child robot or doll, be a healthier outlet for individuals with paedophilic desires, or will this be just a stepping stone to having sex with a live child? We don’t know – I doubt that any research has been carried out in this area (yet).
I think commentators need to be careful in their comments about men that are attracted to heterosexual adult female dolls, true paedophiles are not attracted to adult women or men. There needs to be research carried out to clarify if use of child robots for sex, leads to an increase in individuals crossing over into the vile world of live paedophilia. On that note, there are female paedophiles too – the public don’t get to claim it as a male only activity – alien as it is to think of a female abusing a child.
So, until research-based evidence tells me otherwise, I shall view use of sex dolls as playing with sex toys for orgasm, (nothing new there) and if the individual wants to that one as though it is an adored real-life partner – who are we to blame? More concern, action and public focus, needs to be taken to prevent access to live porn by children of all ages. They can rapidly develop an overwhelming addiction and all of the destructive and heart-breaking consequences that blight a child’s life. The sanity of their parents explodes in an agony of hoplessness, I'll let you make up your mind as to what is noteworthy of top news stories and the resulting emotional outrage and where swift action is very much needed.
New year,….new (or old) relationship resolutions ‘again’ for 2019?
Happy New Year to all my current, previous and possible clients. I think 2019 sounds quite Sci-fi compared to 2018 and perhaps the interstellar planets will positively shift for you this year?
I am aware however, that for many people the prospect of starting a new year when they are unhappy in their relationship, (or without one), is daunting. This may be the second or third year that has started with you vowing that things will have to change this year, but not really having a lot of hope or clue to back that proclamation up. So, what can you do to make sure that problems are properly addressed and worked through this year, when it has not happened previously – even when you have said this is the last chance and still no change has occurred?
As I have touched on in a previous blog, communication is extremely important in relationships – I can’t stress enough just how important it is. People may not talk about their feelings in a relationship, but focus on busy day events e.g. day at work, what’s happening in the family, when are you going to have your holiday, or they may focus on everything that they don’t like about their partner and over communicate this – so the beleagured partner stops listening and is likely to feel angry and resentful when they feel they are doing their best. So, these types of interactions are not helpful for nurturing a space in your relationship for you both to be able to talk about the good things that work for you and things that don’t work quite so well for you. It sounds simple right? But noooooo, this can be very hard to do as both people are working according to their ‘internal working models’ – a kind of blueprint that we each follow (unconsciously at times) to help us navigate the world, people in it and our family, and children. When a couple have similar life experiences and similar blueprints – there can be more of an existing platform that they share and can start communicating from, however, when experiences are dissimilar and blueprints are different, communication can be even more difficult. What’s more is that communication is only part 1 of the challenge as what is then required is part 2, i.e. ‘understanding’ of your partner – his or her thoughts, beliefs and emotions. Then what can further complicate issues – is that a partner believes he ‘is’ listening and can see his partner has a problem and so is doing a helpful thing by being able to offer some solutions to her problem, ( It is mostly men that try to ‘fix’ problems - believing this is their role and what needs to be done – they are being ‘helpful’), and sometimes yes they are – however I work with many more women that don’t want a quick fix, they want to know their partner has heard what they have to say and can understand why they are feeling e.g. lonely, angry, unappreciated or conversely wonderful, excited and driven. When this does not happen, it can lead to feelings of dis-harmony in the relationship, confusion, anger and loneliness.
During the assessment process with clients, I can come across couples that proudly say, ‘but we never argue’. I register this with caution – as this can translate as, ‘ we are not able to say what we truly feel and want and therefore any problems there are – are never resolved’. Men can complain that women talk too much but I have come across men that give extremely loooooonnnnggggg boring answers to relatively simple questions too. This can be a way of dominating communication, filling the time up, not allowing their partner to talk and this means they don’t have to hear difficult things that may trigger them to feel bad.
These few examples are just some common dynamics between people – we have not even touched on sexual communication, but you may have got the idea that if general communication between partners is difficult to negotiate – that sexual communication is a whole lot harder.
Luckily there is a lot of information that can be found on the internet that can point the way towards self-help. I would recommend giving this a go if you are having minor difficulties. As with most things, people have varying degrees of success. Some couples can’t stop arguing for 5 mins in order to try to do anything different and therefore self-help can be a none starter.
So, what would be different if you were to see a Relationship Therapist? Well for one, any Therapist worth their salt would not allow constant arguing in the therapy sessions – surely you can save yourself money and time and just continue arguing as you always do at home or in the car? Whilst you are talking, neither of you are listening and therefore no understanding can come about. A good Therapist would also not allow one person to dominate the communication or one person to deliberately not participate in the conversation. People often need helped to have a difficult conversation about hard topics. This does not mean there won’t be any emotions experienced, of course there will be- however the therapist can guide and support you through this, perhaps helping you to look at things another way and to gently challenge thoughts feelings and behaviours that feel set in concrete. It is only when people are able to take the risk of showing their ‘real’ inner selves to each other and communicating their emotions, that the chance for understanding can be encountered and this can lead to a new way of being together.
If reading this short blog has given some hope that difficult problems in relationships ‘can’ be addressed and worked with and you would like to consider working with me – please send me a no obligation email and we may work together to make 2019 the year that you can start to unravel your relationship deadlock, in order to enjoy more pleasurable activities together.
Cheers to 2019!
Why do all my partners turn out to be the same?
I see a lot of people that come forward for Therapy because they 'keep on meeting the wrong partner'. This is pretty much even in terms of male and female clients. People can invest a lot of time, effort, emotion, trust and parts of their future in somebody that 'turns out' to be the same as the last two partners. I think there may be a clue in that - you are the common denominator in these relationships and if you don't want this to continue to happen - perhaps exploring yourself would be helpful?
Most people tend to think that 'things just happen' to us e.g. you think you have met a great person, you start dating, take it forward, make a commitmment together and sometime later, it emerges that you think this person is the same as your previous two partners. Why is this? Well things don't 'just happen' and people don't just randomly feel attracted to each other, there is a lot more that is going on than we realise. We all operate from a conscious awareness and an unconscious awareness. A conscious awareness is what we can see, hear and feel about other people. We are conscious of these matters , i.e. we can identify, acknowledge and think about these things. An unconscious awareness is what we can't see, hear and feel about other people - but this does not mean that nothing is happening in our unconscious mind - it is.
None of us come to a relationship totally free of the prevous influences on us and experiences we have had. This can extend from childhood to adulthood. An example I often use with people is; Let's say you and your sister and brother grew up in a family where both parents were alcoholics. You all hate alcohol, you hate what it done to your parents and family and you vow never to touch alcohol yourself. When you are an adult, one day you look around and realise that you have stuck to your principles and have not drunk alcohol, BUT you seem to keep getting involved with men that drink too much and all the negative consequences that brings. Your brother has become an alcoholic himself and your sister does not have any alcohol in her life, including in relationships. Why is this happening? There are biological and social influences affecting our behaviours, but what we also do as humans, is gravitate to what unconsciously feels 'normal' to us. We may hate something with every bone in our body, e.g. alcohol, but we know how to deal or 'survive' in situations where alcohol is playing a big part in the relationship. A similar example is, growing up with a violent father that physically abuses your mother. You hate violence and how it impacted on your family, BUT you now realise you keep choosing partners that are violent. Attraction is not one way as we know. So a man that also grew up in a family where his Father was violent, to his shy and passive wife, can also continue to affect their children. The man may have longed for his Mother to have found her voice and courage to stand up to his father - leave with the children so they don't have to witness and feel the terrible emotional turmoil this violence creates and he may be angry and resentful that his mother did nothing to protect herself or her children. So one starry night two people meet. The man with his resentment and anger and the woman with her loathing and neediness for attention and love. What attracts them to each other is;
a) their conscious awareness e.g. they like the look, the sound and the emotional states of the person, all of that in the honeymoon phase is wonderful, positive and bonding.
b) their unconscious awareness e.g. there is a 'shadow side' - not illuminated by conscious awareness. That shadow side in this example is about how attracted the woman is to the mans decisiveness - always deciding what they will do as a couple and making important decisions for them. The female feels shy and unassertive and is glad he can take charge, - somebody has to. The man feels strong and good at fixing things and likes how demure and none aggressive his lady is. However, as time goes by, the man becomes an abusive dictator and the woman a victim that avoids taking responsibility for her part in the relationship and they grow apart. They may have accused each other e.g. 'you are just like your mother, or you are just like your father'. So people seek out what they are familiar with and that includes parental models of behaviour. They also seek out a way to resolve the emotional crisis they have been through when growing up - but without them gaining insight to their own behaviour e.g. through counselling or therapy - they keep trying to find a different ending to the dynamic i.e. a happier ending - where they don't behave like their father or mother and they don't have a partner that behaves like their father or mother. When they are unable to change behaviour in that relationship - they split up and put themselves out in the world again. They reluctantly start dating again and eventually meet somebody else and the pattern continues over and over again.
Remember the common denominator is you. You can learn to understand yourself better and get help to move on much more positively into new relationships without having the same negative influences destroying each one. If you recognise your own patterns of repeating relationships -I would be pleased to help you understanding yourself better and to break the repeating pattern.
Love In the Digital Age, what behaviours are cheating?
I work with many couples that are struggling and in emotional pain because one partner has betrayed the trust of the other. This can be by having short and long term affairs or perhaps a one night stand or accessing online chat services and porn websites. It is heart breaking for the non-cheating partner and often shame fuelled denial and later regret for the cheater.
One of the most common bones of contention is that some men, (or women, I will use for convenience ‘male’ as cheater and female as partner of, it can be either sex who cheats) will insist viewing porn or going on live sex chat lines is not being unfaithful as they have never had sex in ‘real life’ with anybody else. This can be a sticking point for huge arguments or silent withdrawals ultimately getting the couple no resolution of the problem. Often a man will be dragged along to an appointment for ‘me’ to sort him out!
My job is not to take sides with either of the partners and I quickly communicate this. Both must feel in a safe place in order to open up enough to look at tough feelings and have a difficult conversation. I can’t be seen as just another woman who is siding with his wife and I also can’t be seen as someone that is blaming the wife for his decision to cheat. It’s a fine juggle to walk the line. An easier way to think of it is that I am working with their relationship as my client, whilst holding each partner’s individuality in mind.
Research has shown that women can’t compartmentalise love and sex in the way that some men can and therefore ‘it didn’t mean anything’ as protested by a cheater, can’t be understood or believed by most woman. Research has also shown that cheating emotionally and physically, including with people online, causes the same emotional pain as in ’real life,’ no matter how much the man protests. When the betrayal on a continuum of occurrence sits at the addiction end of the behaviour, the partner (and many others in the general population) will believe addiction is being used as an excuse for bad behaviour and that the man just has e.g. a high sex drive. Addiction causes pain and chaos in life and there is nothing wrong with a high sex life as long as nobody is getting hurt, (different from as long as nobody finds out). Often the man will also be in denial about his own behaviour and this so often will lead to fiercely defended lies about that behaviour. Again, through research it has been shown that it is the continual lies told by her husband and the putting of blame onto the wife e.g. ‘you are exaggerating’, ‘I told you I was going out tonight you are always forgetting things’, ‘why are you so suspicious I told you nothing was happening’ etc that does more damage than the actual behaviour that the man carries out. Every time the woman asks – is that all, is there anything else I should know, and the man promises that there is no more to be told and then more is discovered by the wife – the bigger the emotional trauma in the wife. This promising that nothing is wrong or that all information is known and then blaming the wife when she has suspicions, only for more information about behaviour to be found out, is called gas lighting. Gas lighting can cause women to be so traumatised that they suffer effects like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Women in this category usually say that it was easier to forgive the behaviour than the lies and the attempts at making the woman believe she is at fault, followed by further discovery of lies. You may well imagine that there could be no way forward for a couple in this situation. The man may attempt to use his wife’s ‘behaviour’ to justify why he ‘acted out’, e.g. ‘you are too wrapped up with the children, you never have time for me’ or you never want to have sex – it’s 6 months since we had sex’. These situations/behaviours can be included in the list of things that need to be understood and resolved, but it was ultimately the mans’ ‘choice’ to respond to a problem by cheating. He could have chosen not to cheat but to try to understand and solve the problem – but he did not. Conversely a person does not (consciously) 'choose' to have an addiction, it emerges with time. Often at the very heart of problems is poor communication and/or different expectations of e.g. a trusting relationship or how sex will be when married or in a long term relationship, or with children now in the family and what either believes to be behaviour that is cheating.
It is my job to help the couple to have an honest conversation about what has happened. Feelings are usually very raw and often one or both partners can be experiencing symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. I must take everything into consideration and help both to move away from ‘blame’ and towards understanding (which doesn’t mean forgiving or forgetting). Maintaining and repairing a broken relationship takes commitment and hard work, but if partners still love each other and want the relationship to continue, then it is possible for that to happen. Often people will say, ‘I just want all this crying and anger and emotion to stop – I just want us to go back to normal’. Well…..’normal’ didn’t prevent cheating, nor did it promote understanding of each other. The truth is that the relationship will never be the same again….but it can be better. Communication and understanding can be much improved and when the man takes positive action to show he can be trusted (a long term activity) and the woman can finally believe this – there is hope for the future.
If you are having trouble with any of the issues that I talk about here and you want some help to navigate the minefield, please email me and we can begin the process of unravelling and finding a way forward for you.
Best wishes to you all.